Corporate Knights has released its list of the 100 most sustainable companies for 2023, which highlights the positive work firms are doing across the globe for people and planet. Sustainable Future News investigates the top five most sustainable companies in the UK.
Businesses that act with purpose and deliver positive benefits to the planet can, in return, receive a wide range of benefits, including better staffing and retention, lower costs, and higher revenue.
This year’s Global 100 ranking of the world’s most sustainable companies, now in its 19th year, reveals that the transition is gathering momentum – and that businesses that take sustainability seriously are flourishing financial.
The UK companies on this list were involved in a rigorous assessment of more than 6,000 companies with revenue over $1 billion (£805 million) to make the cut.
So, who are the most sustainable companies in the UK?
5. Beazley PLC
Beazley is the British parent company of a number of specialist insurance businesses, with operations across Europe, the US, and Asia. The company has six Lloyd’s syndicates and has a vision to be the highest performing sustainable specialist insurer in the world.
Its responsible business strategy is based around four central pillars: Enhancing livelihoods, responsible culture, sustainable world, and positive procurement. These pillars are supported by nine key areas across the organisation that are detailed in the organisation’s responsible business wheel. This wheel is designed to demonstrate the interconnected nature of the organisation’s approach to responsible business.
To help achieve its sustainability goals, Beazley’s has made sure to implement a series of measurable targets that incorporate ESG thinking into every aspect of its business.
4. Seven Trent PLC
Marking its entry into the list this year at #58, Severn Trent is a water company based in Coventry, England. One of Britain’s largest water companies, it supplies 4.6 million households and businesses across the Midlands and Wales.
Seven Trent has committed to a 25% reduction in its Scope 1 and 2 net operational emissions from its 2019/20 baseline. Through its Green Plan is working to enhance its covered region’s environment and better serve its customers and communities.
Currently, 85% of the energy it uses comes from renewable sources and the service provider has also pledged to reach operational net zero carbon emissions by 2030.
3. Unilever PLC
British multinational consumer goods company Unilever came in at #38 on the Corporate Knights list, rising from #78 the previous year. The company’s product portfolio includes food products, such as Ben & Jerry’s and Hellmans, beauty and personal care products, such as Dove and Axe, beverages, home care products, vitamins, minerals, and supplements. The company has a presence across the Americas, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Africa, and the Middle East.
Unilever has said, “We are driven by our purpose: to make sustainable living commonplace.” They have been recognised for this not only by Corporate Knights but also in the S&P Corporate Sustainability Assessment 2021 (formerly known as the S&P Dow Jones Sustainability Index), that saw them awarded Global Gold Glass for its performance across a range of environmental, social and governance criteria.
“Creating a stable of the world’s most purposeful brands, proving that sustainable business drives better performance, and being a beacon for diversity and inclusion – these are the things we want Unilever to be famous for,” said Alan Jope, Unilever CEO.
2. BT Group PLC
BT Group is a British multinational telecommunications holding company headquartered in London. The company achieved an improvement from #84 in the previous year, ranking #25 in the index.
Only recently, BT announced new digital tools to help its customers measure the carbon impact of running applications and cloud workloads across their network. For a better understanding of how electricity consumption translates into carbon emissions, the dashboard includes data from regional power grids showing their overall carbon intensity.
The calculator analyses the customer’s network inventory in order to estimate its carbon footprint, it will also track how it reacts to changes and upgrades over time. There is lifecycle management included in the tool that highlights devices at the end of service to prioritize for replacement. The launch of the new tools marks the latest step in the company’s plan to help customers avoid 60 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions by 2030.
1. Atlantica Sustainable Infrastructure
Atlantica Sustainable Infrastructure tops our list of the most sustainable companies in the UK. The company has a diversified portfolio of contracted renewable energy, storage, efficient natural gas, electric transmission and water assets in North & South America.
The company makes the list for a third consecutive year as one of the World’s 100 Most Sustainable Corporations. Ranking #21, the company has dropped 13 places from #8 last year.
“Sustainability is at the core of what we do and how we operate. We are proud to be recognised in the Corporate Knights’ 2023 Global 100 Index for the 3rd year in a row,” said Santiago Seage, Atlantica’s CEO.
You can see a full list of the top 100 sustainable companies here.
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